Methods in Molecular Biology Volume 956, 2013, pp 311-326

Molecular Strategies to Engineer Transgenic Rice Seed Compartments for Large-Scale Production of Plant-Made Pharmaceuticals

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Abstract

The use of plants as bioreactors for the large-scale production of recombinant proteins has emerged as an exciting area of research. The current shortages in protein therapeutics due to the capacity and economic bottlenecks faced with modern protein production platforms (microbial, yeast, mammalian) has driven considerable attention towards molecular pharming. Utilizing plants for the large-scale production of recombinant proteins is estimated to be 2–10% the cost of microbial platforms, and up to 1,000-fold more cost effective than mammalian platforms (Twyman et al. Trends Biotechnol 21:570–578, 2003; Sharma and Sharma, Biotechnol Adv 27:811–832, 2009). In order to achieve an economically feasible plant production host, protein expression and accumulation must be optimized. The seed, and more specifically the rice seed has emerged as an ideal candidate in molecular pharming due to its low protease activity, low water content, stable protein storage environment, relatively high biomass, and the molecular tools available for manipulation (Lau and Sun, Biotechnol Adv 27:1015–1022, 2009).